Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dr. William Lane Craig vs. Dr. Lawrence Krauss

On March 30th, at North Carolina St. University, Christian philosopher Dr. William Lane Craig debated theoretical physicist Dr. Lawrence Krause on the question of is there is evidence for God. You can watch the debate here (skip to 16:00 for the debate introduction of 20:00 for the start of the debate).

The contrasting style and expertise of the debaters was interesting. Craig is a polished debater while Krause is not. Craig’s specialty is philosophy while Krause was uncomfortable talking about anything by physics.

The debate really hinged upon Craig’s assertion that a hypothesis is more probable given certain facts then it would without them. He formulates this with Bayes’ theorem Pr (H| E & B) > Pr (H|B) where H=a hypothesis; E=some specific evidence; B=our background information. He then goes on to present his usual five arguments:

1. The Leibnizian cosmological argument.

2. The Kalam cosmological argument.

3. The fine-tuning of the universe for intelligent life.

4. Objective moral values and duties in the world.

5. The historical facts concerning Jesus of Nazareth.

Krause attacked logic by claiming that strange things happen in the universe. He presented fairly effectively applied Hume’s argument against miracles. He also presented some interesting information about quantum mechanics; asserting nothing isn’t nothing because of the quantum vacuum. I think the most surprising thing that Krause said is that deism is plausible.

All together this was a genial and interesting debate. I’m a fan of Craig so I’m a little biased but I did think that he won the debate as he showed that there is evidence for God.


  1. There is no "evidence" for god. If there was, there would be no atheists....lol. Craig is easily refuted by someone like myself, as I too am a trained philosopher. I have begun refuting arguments made by popular apologists on my blog at aisforatheist5760.blogspot.com. I am very much looking forward to the debate between Harris and Craig, as I believe two trained philosophers will present a more "interesting" debate.

  2. I think the most surprising thing that Krause said is that deism is plausible.

    Isn't that an admission that he lost a debate about whether there is evidence for God's existence? Am I missing something?